Friday, June 2, 2017

A Mother's Love

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Bishop Karen Oliveto preach at a local church. It was one of those sermons that just sticks with me, centers me, helps me to deeply reflect on how my day to day life is either a reflection of me as someone who is Christ-like OR, on the other side, a big fear of mine- someone who says they are a Christian but acts nothing like Christ himself did.

Before the sermon began, someone read a poem titled Pink and Blue. It’s one of those poems that has such deep imagery that it makes me feel like an artist. I can’t read it without getting lost in the words and the meaning. Here’s the “Cliffnotes” version (but seriously, do read it): our tendency as humans is to create this very specific image of God as a powerful father. For me, the image is the merging of Santa combined with Zeus. There is a tenderness and jollyness to him, yet also this powerful authoritative stance. But the poem describes a God who isn’t so categorical. His love is beyond our true comprehension, so to bind that as a “fatherly” love and to disregard the “motherly” love is to only capture part of who God is. His ability to provide motherly love is a huge part of who he is.

I need this love. We need this love.

Listen, there’s times when the love of a father sounds just perfect. The strong, protective father who would do anything to provide what his child needs. But it isn’t complete. We need to rely on the unconditional love from God that we, on earth, typically regard as “motherly” love. The tender hugs, the scratch my back until I fall asleep, the lending of an ear, the wipe away my tears kind of love.

The poem ends in this amazing way:

God our Mother, believing in us. That’s what a mother does: she looks into your eyes
and she says, I believe in you. I know you. I know you were made for great things. A
mother says, you’re not too small or too scared. You’re not too frail or too flawed. You’re
mine. And that’s all you need to know.

God our Mother whispers to each one of us ‘You’re mine. And that’s all you need to know.’ ”

We all wish we could have some love from our mother sometimes. And while I believe that most mothers would love to be there for their child always, we know that distance, death, and division often make that love hard to feel. That’s the amazing thing about God- when relationships here aren’t what we need them to be, his love is always there. As our father when we need it- and as our mother when we need that even more.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:37-39

Andrea is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton and Wyatt. She and her husband Steve, have been members of BUMC since 2009.

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